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DPRG: Radio Controlled Ball

Subject: DPRG: Radio Controlled Ball
From: Kipton Moravec kmoravec at airmail.net
Date: Tue Feb 3 14:37:17 CST 1998

Jim Brown wrote:
> 
> > Liquids that get heavy with heat?  Sounds fishy to me.
> > E=mc^2 so you would need quite a bit of energy (heat)
> > to convert to matter (mass) to make a significant weight
> > shift.
> 
> Yep, believe it or not.  I saw something on PBS where
> someone constructed a huge wheel that was supposed to
> turn a generator by allowing the sun to heat up the top
> of the wheel which caused it to turn to the bottom.  There
> were several sections and as the wheel turned, the next
> section would be on top, get heated and turn to the bottom.
> However, as you said, the process was so slow that it
> never "turned" a profit!  ;-)

Hmmm, I am no thermodynamics expert, but I would guess it heated up some
liquid or air and changed the center of gravity by pushing a weight that
was in the relative center of the wheel.
 
> 
> > On a similar note I saw an idea of a rolling ball that used
> > air bladders. It was an idea for a Mars lander. With a
> > controller inflating/deflating indiviual air bladders
> > to create motion.  The air bladders were arranged in
> > pie-shaped sections like a giant wheel.  The idea could
> > be extended to a ball for motion in any direction.
> > I would not expect it to move much faster than a snail's pace
> > but still a neat idea.
> >
> > -Clay Timmons
> 
> Yeah, but the best selling point is that it doubles as a
> whoopie cushion!  ;-)
> 
> Probably the same technique could be used to make an
> air bladder snake that could crawl across the ground?

If you wanted to do this, I would try a ball with a bunch of solenoids
poking out of it. To start rolling actuate a solenoid to push the ball
rolling.  You will need something to let you know which way is up so you
will know which one to activate for the direction you will want to go. 

Regards,
Kip

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